Less than 48 hours after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor – and his headlining acceptance speech mentioning the plight of mother cows and calves in animal agriculture – Joaquin Phoenix helped Los Angeles Animal Save liberate a cow and her newborn calf from a local slaughterhouse. Joaquin named the mother Liberty and her daughter Indigo.
The cow gave birth in the holding area of Manning Beef in Pico Rivera, CA. They are the fifth bovine mother and child rescued from Manning Beef by L.A. Animal Save, the grassroots group that holds peaceful vigils at area slaughterhouses – Joaquin is a regular attendee.
Make what you will of Joaquin’s statement:
“I never thought I’d find friendship in a slaughterhouse, but meeting Anthony [president/CEO of Manning Beef] and opening my heart to his, I realize we might have more in common than we do differences. Without his act of kindness, Liberty and her baby calf, Indigo, would have met a terrible demise. Although we will continue to fight for the liberation of all animals who suffer in these oppressive systems, we must take pause to acknowledge and celebrate the victories, and the people who helped achieve them. Shaun Monson, Amy Jean Davis, and the entire LA Animal Save community, have taken their pain of bearing witness and turned it into effective, diplomatic advocacy for the voiceless. As a result, Liberty and Indigo will never experience cruelty or the touch of a rough hand.
“My hope is, as we watch baby Indigo grow up with her mom Liberty at Farm Sanctuary, that we’ll always remember that friendships can emerge in the most unexpected places; and no matter our differences, kindness and compassion should rule everything around us.”
“As a new mother myself, I immediately understood the profound bond between this mother cow and her calf, a bond all of us have with our babies,” said L.A. Animal Save founder Amy Jean Davis. “Unlike most mothers in the modern food system, Liberty will have the chance to raise her baby Indigo, instead of being separated and killed by the meat and dairy industry. I’m so thankful to Joaquin for his help saving them from slaughter.”
Phoenix was joined at the slaughterhouse by his fiancée and fellow activist Rooney Mara, both his and Mara’s mothers, Earthlings Director Shaun Monson, Los Angeles Animal Save Founder Amy Jean Davis, and Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur. The group worked with employees onsite to rescue Liberty—who had recently given birth at the slaughterhouse—and her newborn calf Indigo.
Special thanks to documentary filmmaker Shaun Monson for producing and directing this beautiful video.
Photo credit: Shaun Monson